Is Texas lagging behind on medical marijuana legislation?Posted by On

On 4/20, remember: expanding Texas medical marijuana law can save lives Texas’ medical marijuana program is lagging behind other states.

Roughly every four hours, Chase Bearden’s body would remind him to take his pain medication. Bearden, who broke his neck in an accident nearly 30 years ago and uses a wheelchair, had grown accustomed to the routine.

His legs would begin twitching, his muscles would ache, so he would head out to his truck and swallow hydrocodone pills to numb the pain.

By 2017, Bearden, 45, had been taking prescription opioids for more than a decade.

One trip to Colorado changed his life. While visiting the state – where marijuana is legal recreationally – with a friend, he tried a small dose of a tincture, a liquid, cannabis-infused product. After 15 minutes, his muscles relaxed and his over-stimulated nerves stopped firing.

The next day, he halved his pill dosage. Within weeks, he had shaken a decade-long opioid drug habit. Four years later, owing to Texas’ relatively nascent medical marijuana program, Bearden’s quality of life has improved tremendously.

“Once I was off of opioids, my health rebounded, my eyes were clear, even my mom noticed,” Bearden, now the deputy executive director of the Coalition for Texans with Disabilities, told the editorial board. “That’s why we wanted this program to be regulated, because what’s important about this is it’s removing the stigma from it so that you can work one on one with your…

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